A sitemap is a file, usually in XML format, that tells search engines all the URLs they need to know. The ones they will have to crawl and index. In this article, learn how to submit a sitemap to Google or Bing.
Submitting one or more sitemap files is one thing, positioning is another. The two should not be confusing. In other words, sending a sitemap to Google or Bing will not place you in 1st position in one of these search engines.
However, being a list of site URLs to publicize, sending one or more sitemap files can significantly speed up the indexing time of your content in the search engine. Which, in turn, could affect your SEO.
Search engine crawlers are not always on time to crawl and index new content. In this case, the referral of the sitemap may prove necessary to encourage them to browse the site. Otherwise, especially if you are already using a robots.txt file , let the crawlers act on their own.
- 1 How to create a sitemap file?
- 2 How to send a sitemap to Google or Bing?
- 2.1 Submitting a sitemap to Google via Search Console
- 2.2 Submit a sitemap to Bing via Webmaster Tools
How to create a sitemap file?
A sitemap file can be created manually, or by using some appropriate tools. Google and other search engines accept sitemap files in several formats including . XML and . TXT . Here are the types of sitemaps accepted by Google:
- Sitemap: sitemap in XML or text format.
- Index de sitemaps : sitemap de sitemaps.
- RSS: sitemap in RSS feed format.
- Atom: sitemap in Atom feed format.
Formats supported by Microsoft Bing: XML, RSS 2.0, mRSS (Media RSS), Atom 0.3 & 1.0 and text files .
Do you use WordPress ? If so, you don’t have to wonder about how to create a sitemap file. Install one of these Yoast SEO , Google XML Sitemaps or All In One SEO plugins . They will automatically generate your different sitemap files.
To consult your various sitemaps, you will only have to enter in your address bar: the name of your site as well as the page of the sitemap file. Here is an example of what you would type in your browser’s address bar:
Simple example of an XML sitemap showing the location of a URL:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <urlset xmlns="https://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9"> <url> <loc>https://votresite.com/contact</loc> <lastmod>2021-05-04</lastmod> </url> </urlset>
Simple example of a text file showing different URLs per line:
Other CMS offer methods and/or tools to generate sitemap files. If your site is relatively small in size, even otherwise, you may not need to submit a sitemap file. But can do it, even manually, if you care.
How to send a sitemap to Google or Bing?
Both of these search engines offer tools ( Search Console for Google and Webmaster Tools for Bing ) to submit different sitemaps and manage other technical details related to the site’s existence in the search engine. For both, the procedure for submitting sitemaps is almost identical.
Submit a sitemap to Google via Search Console
Open your Search Console account to submit a sitemap to Google. Be sure to select the relevant domain, if you have more than one added to your console. Enter each of your sitemaps, one by one, and click ” Send “.
Google will attempt to retrieve and process each of your sitemaps after submission. Then each of them will display its URL, its type, the date of the last sending, the last reading, the state of the operation and, finally, the number of URLs it contains. To delete a sitemap :
Click on it. Go to the top right corner of the page and click on the three dots to pull down the options. Click ” Delete ” and confirm. A sitemap can be deleted and/or returned as many times as necessary.
Submit a sitemap to Bing via Webmaster Tools
The procedure is almost the same for sending a sitemap to Google or Bing. For Bing, open your Webmaster Tools account . Be sure to select the relevant domain, if you have more than one added. Click on the “ Sitemap ” section, then on “Send the sitemap ”.
Unlike Google, enter the full URL for each of your sitemaps. I.e. yoursite.com/sitemap.xml instead of sitemap.xml for Google. Be sure to enter and submit each item. To delete one or more sitemaps :
Check the item of your choice (left blue box). You will then have three options: send it back , download it or delete it . Each of the actions can be applied to a single item or the entire list of your sitemaps. You will only have to select them all.
Be sure to submit a sitemap to Google or Bing for each type of content. This will facilitate indexing by search engines. No need to declare each of the sitemaps if you use their index. Just as you can ignore the index and declare them one by one.